A terrific year got better for the Red Wings' family when it was announced that co-owner Marian Ilitch will be inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2008.
The inductees were announced Friday as part of the MSHOF Road Trip ’08 mobile interactive experience at GM River Days on the Detroit River.
It is the third-straight induction class to include a Red Wings' representative. Last year, long-time captain and current team Vice President Steve Yzerman and former star forward Norm Ullman were enshrined, while Senior Vice President Jim Devellano gained induction in '06.
Mrs. Ilitch's husband, Mike Ilitch, has been in the MSHOF since 2004.
A native of Dearborn, Mich., Marian Ilitch, with her husband, Mike, helped create one of the top amateur hockey programs in the country, the Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League. Convinced that the program could be successful, she helped create, organize and fund this elite hockey association, which has sent numerous players into the professional ranks. She has also served as one of the co-owners of the Red Wings, which has won four Stanley Cup titles during the Ilitch ownership. She has also helped support other amateur sports programs through various foundations and contributions.
Election into the MSHOF is selected by statewide sports media, MSHOF members, selected sports administrators of university and professional teams and the MSHOF Board of Directors.
Besides Mrs. Ilitch, 10 other individuals will be inducted into the class of '08. They are:
Bob Becker: long-time award-winning Grand Rapids Press sports editor
George Blaha: voice of the Detroit Pistons and Michigan State football
Bill Flemming: Olympic and Wide World of Sports’ broadcasting legend
Steve Fraser: Hazel Park High School star, Michigan All-American and Olympic gold medalist
Rick Leach: Flint Southwestern High School star, Michigan football/baseball great, and Detroit Tigers
Meg Mallon: Farmington Hill Mercy High School and LPGA champion, and the first LPGA player to shoot 60
Herman Moore: All-Pro Detroit Lions wide receiver and fastest in NFL to record 600 catches
Eddie Murray: Long-time Detroit Lions kicker and member of NFL 1980’s All-Decade team
Jack Roush: NASCAR team owner champion and successful automotive businessman
Jon Urbanchek: Michigan champion coach and Olympic swimming coaching legend
“On behalf of our members and sustaining partners, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame is extremely honored to recognize the Class of 2008,” said Tony Michaels, CEO Big Boy Restaurants, and MSHOF chairman. “We look forward to the annual induction ceremony in February of 2009 when our newest class will be formally enshrined.”
Mrs. Ilitch is the 19th member of the Red Wings' organization to be elected to the MSHOF, joining Gordie Howe (1957), Ted Lindsay (1966), Sid Abel (1967), Ebbie Goodfellow (1968), Terry Sawchuk (1974), James Norris (1976), Alex Delvecchio (1977), Bill Gadsby (1986), Budd Lynch (1994), Red Berenson (1996), Bruce Martyn (1996), Red Kelly (1998), Scotty Bowman (1999) and Jack Stewart (2000).
The date of the enshrinement ceremony will be announced later.